Whole Foods Market Target of Unusually Large Options Trading (WFM)

Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) saw unusually large options trading activity on Wednesday. Stock investors purchased 758 put options on the company. This represents an increase of 213% compared to the typical daily volume of 242 put options.

In other news, insider A C. Gallo sold 5,136 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, February 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.23, for a total transaction of $160,397.28. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 62,792 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,960,994.16. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Juan Nunez sold 14,502 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.52, for a total value of $399,095.04. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 5,746 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $158,129.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 37,736 shares of company stock worth $1,126,006 over the last quarter. Insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Bank of Nova Scotia raised its position in shares of Whole Foods Market by 964.2% in the first quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia now owns 74,674 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,219,000 after buying an additional 67,657 shares during the last quarter. Gareth Morgan Investments Limited Partnership purchased a new position in shares of Whole Foods Market during the first quarter worth approximately $2,729,000. Baker Avenue Asset Management LP raised its position in shares of Whole Foods Market by 13.1% in the first quarter. Baker Avenue Asset Management LP now owns 21,785 shares of the company’s stock worth $647,000 after buying an additional 2,522 shares during the last quarter. Fiduciary Trust Co. raised its position in shares of Whole Foods Market by 24.6% in the first quarter. Fiduciary Trust Co. now owns 12,038 shares of the company’s stock worth $357,000 after buying an additional 2,378 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Southeast Asset Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of Whole Foods Market by 11.7% in the first quarter. Southeast Asset Advisors Inc. now owns 45,580 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,355,000 after buying an additional 4,790 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 85.46% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) traded down 0.44% on Friday, reaching $35.99. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,381,421 shares. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $34.91 and a 200 day moving average of $31.56. The stock has a market capitalization of $11.47 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.65 and a beta of 0.75. Whole Foods Market has a 52 week low of $27.67 and a 52 week high of $38.29.

Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 10th. The company reported $0.37 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.37. The business had revenue of $3.74 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.73 billion. Whole Foods Market had a return on equity of 14.57% and a net margin of 2.81%. Whole Foods Market’s revenue for the quarter was down 99.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.44 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Whole Foods Market will post $1.31 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 11th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 30th will be given a $0.18 dividend. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.00%. This is a positive change from Whole Foods Market’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, June 28th. Whole Foods Market’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 40.29%.

WFM has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. William Blair initiated coverage on Whole Foods Market in a research note on Friday, January 20th. They set a “market perform” rating on the stock. Zacks Investment Research lowered Whole Foods Market from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, January 20th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $37.00 price target on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research note on Friday, February 3rd. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research note on Wednesday, February 8th. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group decreased their price target on Whole Foods Market from $30.00 to $28.00 and set a “market perform” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, February 9th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have issued a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $32.94.

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Whole Foods Market Company Profile

Whole Foods Market, Inc is engaged in the business of natural and organic foods supermarket. The Company operates approximately 456 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Its stores have an average size of approximately 39,000 square feet, and are supported by its distribution centers, bake house facilities, commissary kitchens, seafood-processing facilities, a produce procurement center, and a specialty coffee and tea procurement and roasting operation, among others.

12 Month Chart for NASDAQ:WFM

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